Yesterday, after years of heated conflicts over the issue, San Francisco officially began charging motorists to use metered parking spaces between noon and 6pm on Sundays – and nobody seemed to notice.
For the first few weeks, parking control officers with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are going to be issuing warnings rather than expensive parking tickets. But as Streetsblog SF reported today, even that didn't seem to be happen. Its street survey in the Haight and Mission districts found that most parkers didn't pay, and they received no warnings that they were supposed to.
SFMTA spokespersons that didn't respond to Streetsblog inquiries also haven't responded to questions from the Guardian about what happened and how many warnings were issued (UPDATED BELOW).
Sunday metering is intended to create more parking turnover in busy commercial corridors and bolster the SFMTA's budget, capturing more money for Muni. But for now, it seems that everyone involved is still trying to shake off their holiday hangovers and get up to speed.
UPDATE 5:45: SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose just returned our call to say parking control officers were indeed busy issuing warnings yesterday. "We issued about 4,000 warnings yesterday. That's part of getting the word out," he said. As far as Streetsblog's observations, he said it could have been a fluke of timing or the fact that meters don't indicate when someone pre-pays or pays by cell phone. "In the Haight, specifically, we issued about 600 warnings, and about 1,000 in the Mission," he said. In addition to the direct warnings, the SFMTA has been publicizing the Sunday metering on billboards and Muni posters, through merchant groups, in the media, and on the meters themselves.
Enforcement with actual tickets begins on Jan. 27.